John Keells Holdings PLC (JKH) renewed its 16-year public-private partnership with Sri Lanka Railways for the refurbishment and maintenance of the Slave Island Railway Station. A renewal agreement in this regard was signed on 29th July 2019 between General Manager, Sri Lanka Railways, Mr. M.J. D. Fernando, and JKH represented by Mr. Gihan Cooray, Deputy Chairman and Group Finance Director and Ms. Nadija Tambiah, Secretaries.
In 2002, JKH first stepped into refurbishing and maintaining the Slave Island Railway Station, while preserving its colonial architectural value. Initiated as a key community development venture in the immediate neighborhood, the project aimed at restoring the railway station to its original splendor while enabling modern facilities to compliment the age-old architecture by refurbishing and modernizing the level crossing, bridge and other amenities within the station. Towards enabling the station to be clean and user-friendly for the thousands of commuters who use it, JKH funds daily maintenance of the station. Project work – including all repairs and routine maintenance of the building and service areas, maintenance and greening of the garden, reconstruction of the overhead bridge with additional roofs to the two sides, repairing and painting of benches and interior beautification, refurbishment of the ceiling at the main entrance / ticket counter – is sponsored and implemented by John Keells Property under the guidance of Sri Lanka Railways and in collaboration with John Keells Foundation. It was reported that the Slave Island Railway project benefitted 703,514 commuters during the 2018/19 financial year.